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Aviva 2012 Trials Day 3

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Shara Proctor

 

24 June 2012

Day three at the Aviva 2012 Trials saw another 21 athletes gain pole position in their quest for places at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Shara Proctor (coach: Rana Reider), Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed), Nick McCormick (Lindsay Dunn), Goldie Sayers (Dan Pfaff), Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah), Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), Martyn Rooney (Nick Dakin), Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), Laura Weightman (Steve Cram), Jo Pavey (Gavin Pavey), James Ellington (John Powell), Christian Malcolm (Dan Pfaff), Holly Bleasdale (Julian Raffalli-Ebezant), Kate Dennison (Scott Simpson), Anyika Onuora (Christine Bowmaker), Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie), Lawrence Okoye (John Hillier), Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow), Andrew Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) and Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) look set to receive the selectors nod to be nominated to Team GB on 2 July.

The Alexander Stadium saw two new British national records and two athletes winning their tenth consecutive national titles.

Shara Proctor’s jump of 6.95m was the longest leap since Bev Kinch’s 6.90m in 1983 and the Birchfield Harrier admitted afterwards life couldn’t get much better.

“I’m just on top of the world right now,” she said. “I got the British record, I’m going to the Olympics - how good can it get?!

“It was not good conditions but I said to myself London might be like this so I have to prepare and do my best no matter what so that’s what I did today. I have what it takes, I have to go back and work on some technical problems and I’ll be fine.”

A few hours later Holly Bleasdale followed Proctor’s example and set a new UK outdoor best of 4.71m in the pole vault. The giant leap should see the Blackburn athlete compete at the London Olympic Stadium in August alongside Kate Dennison, who finished second.

“It sets me up well for the next competition, when I’m in that position again I can just take things from here,” said Bleasdale. “I never thought that [failing to qualify today] was possible. I’ve always had this competition in the plan. For me, jumping 40 on the last try and 50 just shows what sort of character I am. I’ve shown grit, determination and I think it’s only a positive I can take from it.”

It was a day to remember for Goldie Sayers who not only secured a record tenth UK javelin title but looks set to make it at a third Olympic Games in a row with a throw of 58.45m to win the competition.

“I’m very proud to have won my tenth title,” she admitted. “I was hoping to throw further but the conditions weren’t the best. I feel very privileged to be able to go to a home Olympics, my third as well so it doesn’t get any better than that. A personal best and a British record in the final would be the ultimate dream.”

Carl Myerscough’s win in the shot put secured him the same domestic honour as Sayers.

Day three of the Aviva 2012 Trials was another good day for the hurdles coach Malcolm Arnold. Andrew Pozzi, Lawrence Clarke and Eilidh Child practically guaranteed their berths on Team GB. Pozzi and Clarke’s first and second place finishes in the 110m hurdles and Child’s silver in the women’s 400m hurdles made it a happy occasion for his Bath-based athletes.

“I’m on top of the world,” confessed Pozzi. “My preparation in the last week or so has been quite disturbed and I was unsure whether I could come here and achieve what I wanted. To get that done, get that all out the way and come here and win, I’m absolutely chuffed.

“I’m looking forward to the Olympics like you wouldn’t believe. It’s been building for years and years with so much media coverage, you can’t help but buy into the dream so I can’t wait.”

Robbie Grabarz’s performance in the high jump lit up the Alexander Stadium on an overcast afternoon and his jump of 2.28m was enough to win the event and his first national title.

“It was a really good win,” said Grabarz. “It was not as high as I’d have liked to jump, but a win nonetheless and that’s what I came here for. The weather wasn’t great but it’s not freezing cold and there weren’t any gusty winds and you’ve got to expect that. I think the excitement at having my first national title and qualifying for the Games was why I didn’t jump my highest rather than the weather.”

It was one final after another on a packed afternoon of track and field. The men’s 200m was won by James Ellington while Margaret Adeoye secured the women’s title. Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams finished first and second in the men’s 400m respectively.

“The race was great, it was competitive,” said Rooney. “I can’t say I ran amazingly but I’m happy just to get a result. To get Olympic qualification out of it is exciting.

“Now I can go into the next couple of weeks knowing what I need to do. I’ve got to run 44-low, simple as that. It’s a nice place to be.”

Jo Pavey produced an excellent run to win the 5000m while there was good wins for Andrew Osagie in the 800m, Laura Weightman 1500m, Eilish McColgan 3000m steeplechase and Perri Shakes-Drayton 400m hurdles.

Lawrence Okoye once again underlined his Olympic credentials in the men’s discus with a winning throw of 63.46m.

 

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